EXCLUSIVE interview with Mike Burks, Alice Plunkett on roast dinners and octogenarian craftsmen


It’s a perfect half hour’s listening this week – we start with TV presenter Alice Plunkett answering the Random 19 questions. Then, in a podcast exclusive, Jenny has interviewed Sherborne’s Mike Burks on his Dorset Island Discs choices. Lastly Tracie met up with the two ‘retired’ craftesmen who have established an entirely new career:

  • Answering this month’s random 19 questions is North Dorset resident Alice Plunkett, one of the leading horseracing presenters for ITV. A former eventer and National Hunt jockey herself, Alice has also been the Radio 5 Live equestrian correspondent and has hosted equestrian events for Eurosport, Sky Sports and Horse and Country. Alice is married to top eventer William Fox-Pitt, and they have four children.
  • It’s 35 years since Mike and Louise Burks opened Sherborne’s Castle Gardens – now their Christmas displays are a staple of the region’s festive calendar. Jenny Devitt spoke to Mike to find out about his choices as December’s castaway on Dorset Island Discs
  • In a tiny village in Dorset, talented 84-year-old Peter Thomas and 70-year-old Trevor Ball are keeping the old man well and truly out – both are supposedly retired and now work happily every day on their “addiction’’, woodturning and stick dressing. Although they never intended to set up a business, both men now have a hugely satisfying and successful second career. 
  • Westminster policy has a habit of ignoring the less populated rural areas of the country, says MP Simon Hoare, and it’s time to discuss Levelling Up in the south.


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